James Boswell

James Boswell

James Boswell, 9th Laird of Auchinleck (29 October 1740 – 19 May 1795) was a lawyer, diarist, and author born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is best known for the biography he wrote of one of his contemporaries, the English literary figure Samuel Johnson, which the modern Johnsonian critic Harold Bloom has claimed is the greatest biography written in the English language.

Boswell's surname has passed into the English language as a term (Boswell, Boswellian, Boswellism) for a constant companion and observer, especially one who records those observations in print. In A Scandal in Bohemia, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character Sherlock Holmes affectionately says of Dr. Watson, who narrates the tales, "I am lost without my Boswell."

Read more about James Boswell:  Early Life, European Travels, Mature Life, Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson, Slavery, Discovery of Papers, Works, Published Journals

Famous quotes by james boswell:

    In progress of time, when my mind was, as it were, strongly impregnated with the Johnsonian æther, I could, with much more facility and exactness, carry in my memory and commit to paper the exuberant variety of his wit and wisdom.
    James Boswell (1740–1795)

    His mind resembled the vast amphitheatre, the Colisæum at Rome. In the centre stood his judgement, which, like a mighty gladiator, combated those apprehensions that, like the wild beasts of the Arena, were all around the cells, ready to be let out upon him. After a conflict, he drove them back into their dens; but not killing them, they were still assailing him.
    James Boswell (1740–1795)